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What is domiciliary care?

Fonthill House, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Staying in the comfort of your own home for as long as possible is a priority for many, which is why domiciliary care is a popular choice. Whether you need a live-in carer or a couple of visits a week, domiciliary care is a great option for many as it works flexibly around your needs. What’s most important is that you feel comfortable and supported with the level of care you’re receiving and feel as though it gives you the ability to continue living your life independently. Let’s explore how domiciliary care works…

What is domiciliary care?

Domiciliary care takes place in the comfort of your own home, allowing you to enjoy your independence and familiar surroundings for longer. Domiciliary care can be offered in various different ways — whether you need a couple of hours a day, a few visits a week or more hands-on care, it works around your needs. 

Domiciliary care aims to help you with a variety of different everyday tasks, including: 

  • Personal care
  • Administering and managing medication
  • Helping you to move around the home 
  • Household tasks such as cooking, cleaning and shopping
  • Emotional support and companionship

Who is domiciliary care for?

Domiciliary care is for people of all ages who want to stay in the comfort of their own homes but require some support to do so. Whether you’re just starting to find everyday tasks slightly more challenging or you need someone to help with medical treatments on a regular basis, domiciliary care is there to make your life easier. Domiciliary care is particularly a popular option for those who are living with a loved one as you won’t have to move away from home, meaning you can stay with your loved ones whilst getting the extra support you need.

However, if you are living alone, domiciliary care is still a great option as not only does it give you the support and assistance you need but also some companionship. Domiciliary care is for anyone who needs help in order to stay at home, it can be as hands-on or hands-off as you need. From someone helping with meal preparation and personal care a few times a week to daily visits to help with medication. 

For those with more specialist care needs, domiciliary care may not be the best option. This is because this type of care tends to focus on those with less intensive care needs. For more intensive care needs, you can contact your GP or local care home for some advice.

Who provides domiciliary care to an individual?

Domiciliary care can be provided by a trained individual or a nurse from a care home, hospital or private practice. Depending on the level of care required, you may need a healthcare assistant or nurse to help with treatment. The type of person providing your care will be determined beforehand, with a treatment plan completed and your personal needs assessed.

The specific caregivers chosen depend on an individual’s unique care requirements and the care plan established with healthcare professionals.


Common providers include caregivers who offer non-medical assistance with daily activities and companionship. Personal care assistants (PCAs) help with personal tasks and activities of daily living. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are trained to provide personal care and basic medical support, while registered nurses (RNs) may be involved for more specialised medical needs.

What is the difference between domiciliary care and residential care?

The main difference between domiciliary care and residential care is that you’ll be able to remain in your own home with domiciliary care. The level of care you receive remains the same. A specialist care home can offer 121 care with compassionate professional carers who deeply understand your needs. Some people prefer residential care as carers and nurses are always available, giving that extra peace of mind. Domiciliary care is less intensive as it’s for those who can live at home without the need for 24/7 care. 

Domiciliary care is a great option for those who want to maintain their independence and the comfort of living at home. If you need help with simple daily tasks, having a carer visit in this way can offer significant quality of life improvements.

What are the advantages of domiciliary care?

Domiciliary care, also known as home care, is a great option for those looking to stay closely involved in the care of their loved one. In fact, it enables individuals to receive personalised care and support in the comfort of their own homes, all while promoting familiarity and independence.

In addition, domiciliary care plans are tailored to individual needs, accommodating various health conditions and lifestyles. It often includes assistance with daily tasks, medication management and companionship, fostering emotional well-being. It is also a more cost-effective option than residential care facilities. 

Overall, domiciliary care provides a flexible and person-centred approach to caregiving, enhancing overall quality of life.

Who pays for domiciliary care?

The funding landscape for domiciliary care in the UK can be complex, requiring careful assessment of individual circumstances. That said, domiciliary care is funded through a combination of public and private sources. 

The National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare services, including nursing care, free at the point of use. 

Local authorities can play a key role in funding and coordinating social care services, including domiciliary care, for those who qualify based on a needs assessment. 

Means-tested government benefits, such as Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment, can also contribute to funding. 

Additionally, individuals can choose to privately pay for domiciliary care services if they don’t meet the eligibility criteria for public funding.

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